Objects on a wall

Installation view of Sharif Bey: Excavations at Carnegie Museum of Art, 2021, photo: Bryan Conley

In Conversation: Literacy


In Conversation is a series of engaged discourse that brings together different points of view from scholars, artists, writers, and creatives to explore national and international perspectives on our collections and exhibitions on view. Hear from a diverse line-up of guests discussing a range of topics in relation to our galleries and public art spaces.

On January 27, join Dr. Lori Delale-O'Connor, Dr. Robin Brooks, and artist Bekezela Mguni as they examine how language contributes to the portrayal of class, ethnicity, and race. In dialogue with the multiethnic texts within the exhibition Sharif Bey: Excavations, learn how the scholarship and advocacy of these educators explore the relationship between literacy and liberation.

This conversation will be held over Zoom.

About the speakers:

Lori Delale-O'Connor, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Urban Education and in the Department of Education Foundations, Organizations, and Policy. She currently teaches courses in qualitative methods, urban education, and the social contexts of education. Dr. Delale-O’Connor’s research focuses on examining the connections between families, communities, and education across spaces with a particular focus on fostering equity and justice for children and youth in urbanized educational systems.

Dr. Robin Brooks is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research and teaching interests include 20th and 21st-century literature, particularly African American, Caribbean, and American multiethnic literatures, as well as feminist theories and postcolonial studies. She is the author of Class Interruptions: Inequality and Division in African Diasporic Women's Fiction (University of North Carolina Press, 2022), which is a book that examines how contemporary writers use literary portrayals of class to critique inequalities and divisions in the U.S. and Caribbean.

Bekezela Mguni is a radical librarian, activist, artist, and abundant-bodied femme. She believes that the collective sharing of knowledge, beauty, and inspiration is a part of life’s purpose and brings that intentional spirit to her work. Born in San Fernando, Trinidad, she immigrated to New York at the age of 11 and lived in the Caribbean neighborhoods bustling in the hearts of Brooklyn and Queens before coming to Pittsburgh. She has over 10 years of community organizing experience in reproductive justice movement, in which she has worked with LGBTQIA communities, youth, women, and people of color. She collaborates with various artists, educators, healers, and activists who seek to create new worlds and new meanings for this world.

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